Unfortunately we don't have any local details to share, but it seems a US embargo has lifted on more SimCity coverage today and a bunch of new interviews have revealed some more information on the game.
First up, speaking to Joystiq
, EA Maxis Creative Director Ocean Qugley confirmed that mod tools for the game won't ship with the game. While this is hardly unusual -- in fact most bigger games that do support modding these days haven't released their SDK's until well after launch -- most site seem to be reporting this in a very negative light. However Quigley actually makes a point of acknowledging how important modding was to Sim City 4 and expresses desire to support mods -- just not at launch:
"Right now we've got our work cut out for us to build the product up to the quality level it deserves as a SimCity," Quigley said. "Then after we ship, we'll make decisions about how we can and when exactly we'll support mods. But it's worth pointing out that the reason people are still playing SimCity 4 almost ten years later is because the modding community essentially re-created it and filled it with new content and fixed bugs and made it as much of a hobby as it is a game.
"We're very cognizant of that -- we're not idiots."
Next up is a factoid that is harder to forgive -- in fact, so much so that it sounds like it has to be a mistake. Also speaking the Joystiq
, Maxis Lead Designer Stone Librande reportedly confirmed that Sim City will require an always-on connection to the Origin service and failed to note an exception for singleplayer:
Lead designer Stone Librande confirmed that SimCity would be an internet-dependent experience. Players will need to be online on Origin while playing, even if that wasn't the point of purchase. The always-on connection becomes necessary with the game's emphasis on multiplayer and regional impact, and the use of a global economy that all players can influence.
Given that EA has yet to stoop that low (even Battlefield 3 -- their flasgship multiplayer title -- did not fuss if you disconnected from Origin while playing the singleplayer game) it's difficult to believe that this could be anything but crossed wires.
Lastly, an interview with Lead Producer Kip Katsarelis with Venturebeat
has offered some insight into the classic sim's switch to a focus on missions, rather than stick with only the sandbox element.
Gamers today, they want to be led through a story. They want to know what the rewards are. They want to achieve something in a small amount of time, or long amounts of time. But they want to know where they’re going. They want some help with that story.
We don’t want to make a linear, role-playing game. We still want to have that sandbox and play within that. Players are going to be able to opt into those missions.
SimCity is due in 2013, exclusively (for the time being) to PC.